Friday, January 3, 2014

Guy with Two Penises; Free Gay Excerpt Loving Daylight; Charlie Crist is Sorry



Guy with Two Penises

Yesterday a friend sent me a link about a man with two penises. At first I thought it was a joke and the photos were shopped. But then I made the social media rounds and by coincidence saw other people talking about it. Evidently, it's a rare syndrome called Diphallia and it can and does happen.

You can read more here.

And here are the links someone posted photos.

http://i.imgur.com/A5IdNU7.jpg

http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/1u75hh/i_am_the_guy_with_two_penises_ama/

Charlie Christ is Sorry

Charlie Crist, once the governor of Florida, backed a ban on gay marriage back in 2008. He was a Republican then, and now he's a Democrat running for office again and he's sorry he backed the ban on gay marriage in 2008 and I guess he wants some kind of absolution for this. I'm not sure, not exactly. But I don't think he's going to be the only one to flip flop on this in the coming year. I'm not sure I blame him either. I predict more will follow him to the point where it becomes cliché. At least he's one of the first.

‘I’m sorry I did that. It was a mistake. I was wrong,’ Crist told Watermark. ‘As a Republican, on social issues I always felt I was a round peg in a square hole. I just didn’t fit. But I tried, until I couldn’t do it any more … until I had to say, “Enough is enough.”’

It's been alleged that Crist is also a closeted gay man. There was even a documentary produced about this called Outrage. I saw it in 2009 and found it very sad and interesting at the same time.

You can read more here.

Free Gay Excerpt Loving Daylight

It's Friday and I always like to put up an excerpt for the weekend in case I don't get a chance to post. This one is from a book I wrote with a pen name for a collection of romance books that was sold on the Home Shopping Network back in 2009. It's a vampire novel called Loving Daylight. This is the raw version.



For the first time in eighty years, Avenir LaFramboise was returning to the place where he’d been born, Glendale Harbor, Maine, on Mt. Desert Island. It was a cool night in late September and he could smell the salt water in the air. He’d just turned one hundred and one years old. But he didn’t have gray hair and he didn’t walk with a cane. The only thing that looked old about him was the car he was driving, a l978 red Mercedes convertible with a black top. He’d had the car since it was new and could never abide the idea of parting with it.

            When Avenir truly loved something, he was willing to do anything in his power to hold on to it and preserve it forever.

            His hair was still light golden brown, short and wavy, the way it had been the day his life had changed forever back in l929. It never grew longer, and if he shaved his head bald, it would grow back to the same exact length within minutes. His eyes were steel blue and shaped like pumpkin seeds. He had a lean, wiry body, with long muscles in his legs and arms. He’d been a rower, so the lines of his square chest muscles and his defined abdomen cracked through the surface of his skin with little effort. And his skin was always slightly tanned all year long, because he’d become a vampire on a warm night at the end of one of the hottest, sunniest July's ever recorded in Mt. Desert history.

            When he pulled up to the front gate, he stopped the car and smiled at a bronze sign embedded in the stone wall that wrapped around the forty-acre property. The sign read “Raspberry Hall.” Raspberry was the English translation of his last name. Avenir’s father had had a great sense of humor and he’d never been above poking fun at himself. Avenir could remember the day his father had decided on this name for the house. It was the first day they’d moved in; his father’s face had beamed with pride. Avenir shook his head and laughed, then he pulled up to the gate and pressed the intercom button.

            A minute later, a young woman’s voice said, “May I ask who is calling?”

            Avenir pressed his hand to his chest and swallowed. Her voice sounded so familiar he had trouble finding his own. “Ah well, yes,” he said, “Avenir LaFramboise.” She sounded just like his beloved Adriana, but he knew her name was Sienna.

            “I’ll open the gate,” the woman said. “Just follow the drive and pull up to the main entrance, please. We’ve been expecting you.”

             While the gate slowly opened, he took a deep breath and sighed. They thought he was visiting because he wanted to get to know his family better. But the real reason was that he’d seen Sienna’s photo in the news a month earlier. She’d found a baby seal on the beach and she’d spent the entire night on the sand nursing it while she’d waited for help. She’d covered it with her jacket and wrapped her arms around its weak body to protect it from the cold. And the story of her unselfish act (to his surprise) had made headlines all around the world for two days in a row.

            The baby seal lived, and the experts said it was all because of what Sienna had done for it. So they named the seal Sienna in her honor.

Her full name was Sienna Harrington, the great-granddaughter of his first love, Adriana Laperouse Harrington. When he saw the article about the seal on his computer screen, and then saw Sienna’s photo, he knew he had to go home and see her in person. They were visually identical. And he wanted to find out more about her, because he’d never been able to get Adriana out of his head.  

            He passed through the gate slowly, amazed at how little things had changed in all those years. The uphill gravel drive was still lined with tall oaks, the hedgerows were still trimmed into rows of long, flat boxes, and the iron, three-tiered fountain in the middle of the front lawn was still surrounded by small, round boxwoods. He stopped for a moment and stared up at the house. The four gray stone towers still seemed to anchor the rest of the massive stone structure. A light blazed in each of the sixty-five rooms.

           When he pulled up to the front and parked beneath the portico, he looked to the right. The soaring, dark double doors opened at the same time and a young woman stood in the center of the doorway. Her hair was long and blond and parted dead center. She wore a simple black dress and black high heels. He switched off the engine and clicked off the lights. And when he got out of the car and crossed to the front door, a lump formed in his throat that was so large he could barely swallow.

            “I’m Sienna,” the young woman said, “I work here.” She gave him a blank stare; her hands were folded below her stomach.

            He smiled. “I’m Avenir LaFramboise,” he said. He’d read in the news article that she was a housekeeper, and he didn’t understand. Adriana Laperouse, Sienna’s great-grandmother, had married into a family that had been even wealthier than his, the Harringtons. How had Sienna wound up being the LaFramboise family housekeeper so many years later?

            She pressed her lips together and nodded, but she wouldn’t look him in the eye. “I’ll show you to the library,” she said. “The family is waiting for you there.” Then she unfolded her hands and stepped to the side so he could enter.

            The interior of the house hadn’t changed much either. He stopped in the center of the main hall and lifted his head higher. His expression remained empty, except for the fact that his mouth was slightly open. The walk-in fireplace to the right still had the hand carved woodwork and mantel that had been shipped from Italy, the dark walnut panels on the walls that had been shipped from England had aged well with time, and the gray and white marble floor looked even better now that it wasn’t slick and shiny. He took a breath and inhaled. The house still smelled like smoldering cedar chips.

            Sienna stood there staring at him. While he reached out and touched one of the columns with the tips of his fingers, she folded her hands again and rested them on her stomach. The four columns in the hall had originally been dark wood, but his father had hired a French artist to paint them with a faux marble technique to lighten the room. They looked so much like pink marble you had to touch them to feel the warmth of the wood to be sure they weren’t real stone.

            He smiled and said, “They look so authentic.”

            “Yes, they do,” she said. Then she unfolded her hands and extended her right arm. “If you’d like to follow me now, I’ll take you to the library.”

             He already knew where the library was. He’d studied for his school exams there many nights. But he smiled and said, “Of course.”

            She led him down the hall toward the rear of the house. The black dress was tight and it hugged the round curves of her beautiful body. She even walked like Adriana, with a slight lilt in her step and a natural jiggle in her hips.

            When they reached the library, she said, “Mr. LaFramboise is here.”

            Avenir tilted his head to the side and corrected her fast. “Please,” he said, “Call me Avenir.”

            But before she had a chance to reply, an attractive young man rose from an antique armchair beside the fireplace and crossed to where he was standing. He stepped in front of Sienna, placing his back to her face, and said, “I’m your distant cousin, Larson LaFramboise,” he said. “I’m not exactly sure how we’re related, but I think our great-grandfathers were brothers.” He stared closely, and his eyes darted up and down.

            Avenir shook his hand and smiled. “They were brothers,” he said. “Their father started making LaFramboise Liqours in France, then he moved to the United States and invested his money in steel.” Larson was a good-looking man in his early twenties, with dark hair and a well-formed, muscular body. But he looked nothing like Avenir. The only part of Larson that resembled the rest of the LaFramboise family were his steel blue eyes.

            Then a middle-aged man with salt and pepper hair stood from the sofa and shook his head. His eyes were wide and he cinched his eyebrows. He pointed to two oval portraits over the fireplace and said, “I can’t believe how much you resemble your great-grandfather,” he said. “It’s uncanny.” One portrait was actually Avenir, and the other was Avenir’s brother, Pierre. But the man didn’t know this.  

            Avenir looked up at the painting and smiled. “It’s does look like me,” he said. He remembered well the day that picture was taken. He’d just come back from a morning of sailing with his father and brother, and his mother had insisted he sit for the portrait. When he’d looked into the lens and the photographer snapped the photo, he’d lifted one eyebrow slightly higher than the other. He’d never actually seen the portrait up close because he’d disappeared not long after it was taken.

             A woman stood from the other soda and put her martini glass on the coffee table. She was in her mid-forties, with red hair and bright red lipstick. She was wearing a tight leopard cocktail dress with gold stilettos and black stockings. She waved her arm in Sienna’s direction and said, “That will be all, Sienna. We’ll call for you when we’re ready to dine. Thank you, dear.”

            Sienna turned and left the room without wavering. Avenir watched her leave the room and disappear into the hallway.

            The woman said, “I’m Karla LaFramboise. Please excuse my husband, Robert, for not introducing himself to you.” She gave Robert a look and extended her arm to shake Avenir’s hand.

            Then Robert extended his hand to Avenir and said, “I’m so sorry. I just can’t get over the resemblance. And to be honest, when I first heard you were coming, I was a little leery about meeting you. After all, your great-grandfather disappeared very mysteriously and no one ever heard from him again.”

            Avenir shook his hand and smiled. “I can understand how you feel,” he said. “It took me a long time to muster the courage to contact you.” He’d planned an explanation ahead of time because he knew they’d be curious about his background. “As I’ve always been told, my great-grandfather left Maine to study in Europe. But I’m not sure about the full story. He died long before I was born. My grandfather and my father both died young, too. I’m afraid I’m the only one left from my branch of the family. When my mother passed away last year, I decided to look up the family tree.”

            “What did your father do?” Larson asked. He looked Avenir up and down and bit the inside of his face.

            “He owned shopping malls all over the United States,” Avenir said. “And I inherited everything when my mother died.” It wasn’t a total lie. Avenir had started buying up properties back in the l930s…during the Depression when they were cheap. He was bored and alone and he didn’t have much else to do. Now he was a wealthy man; he owned almost as much land as the Catholic Church. And he’d been building indoor shopping malls all over America since the early l960s.

            “Interesting,” Robert said, “I’m interested in hearing everything about you. I’ve always been curious about why your great-grandfather disappeared without a trace.”

            Avenir rubbed his jaw and smiled, then he shook his head and said, “I’m afraid I’m not going to be much help. I probably know just about as much as you.” It was a plausible excuse; no one could fault him for what he didn’t know.

            After that, Karla invited Avenir into the library and offered him a drink. They were having cocktails later than usual because Avenir didn’t arrive until after dusk. He graciously accepted a martini and sat down on one of the sofas next to Larson. Unlike so many of the dramatic legends that claimed vampires couldn’t eat or drink anything but blood, Avenir could tolerate anything humans consumed. Though human food wasn’t something he needed in order to survive, it didn’t hurt him. Food and drink entered his body the same way it entered the human body. But the second he chewed and swallowed, it evaporated and vanished completely. It was like pouring liquid into the wide end of a funnel and having nothing come out the bottom.

            A short time later, Karla called Sienna on the intercom and told her they were ready for dinner. Sienna returned to the library, escorted them into the dining room, and then disappeared through the kitchen door. Avenir watched her leave with wide eyes. He marveled at how easily she moved through the room with that never-ending blank expression on her face.

            Then Sienna disappeared completely. An older, heavy-set woman took over and served them dinner. No one offered an explanation. And when Avenir casually mentioned Sienna during the main course, Karla smiled and said, “Sienna usually leaves at night. She has a part-time job somewhere else.”

            “I see,” Avenir said. He went back to eating small morsels of food that he couldn’t taste. He thought about asking where Sienna’s other part-time job was, but he didn’t want them to know he was interested in her.

             When dinner was finally over (it took forever), he removed his napkin from his lap and stood up before everyone else. If it hadn’t been the fact that he’d seen Sienna, this would have been the most boring night of his life. Karla and Robert could only be described as droll buffoons. Karla had a deep voice that cracked, and Robert spoke from the side of his mouth with a hiss. They gossiped about local real estate as if they were experts, and dropped names along the way about all the rich and powerful people they knew on Mt. Desert Island. They spoke of one wealthy family as if they were best friends, and dissed a famous celebrity in the next town as being nothing but “trashy new money you wouldn’t want to associate with.” And Larson hardly said a word. He sat there eating his dinner without looking up, while the other two rambled through two hours of empty conversation.

            Robert offered Avenir a nightcap in the library, but Avenir quickly raised his hands and said, “If you’ll excuse me, I’d like to go to my room now.” He was only staying there for a short time. He had to pretend to go to bed just like everyone else. They had no idea that he’d already arranged for a safe place to rest during the daylight hours where no one could find him, a dark place in an abandoned old house he was about to purchase. “I work at night and sleep most of the day. I find it more productive. And tomorrow evening I have an appointment to look at some real estate.” He had no intention of working. But the thought of spending a minute more with them made his fangs hurt.

            “Real estate?” Robert asked. His eyes opened wide and he leaned forward. He wasn’t even concerned about the odd statement Avenir had made about working at night and sleeping all day.

            “Yes,” Avenir said, “I’m thinking of buying the old Harrington estate on the cliff not far from here.” He didn’t think they’d even care. He didn’t think they had any connections to the house.  Avenir didn’t know all the history behind the property, but he knew that the last owner to live there had been Sienna’s uncle, her father’s brother. When the uncle died, Sienna’s cousins moved away and let it fall into complete disrepair.

            “Oceanview?” Karla asked, and then turned to her husband and frowned. She pressed her palm to her throat and looked back at Avenir.

            Avenir held the back of the dining room chair and stared at them for a moment. “What’s wrong?” From the way they were staring at him, it looked as if they’d just discovered he was a vampire and that he really was the original Avenir LaFramboise.

            Larson smacked his lips together and said, “That place is a mess. It should have been torn down years ago. It’s an eyesore and it’s creepy. I’ve even heard that it’s haunted.”

            Avenir raised his eyebrows and said, “Well, I’m going to see it tomorrow. From what I’ve seen on the Internet it has great potential. And it is the largest estate on the island.” They had no idea how well Avenir knew the house. He’d watched it being built a long time ago as a child. The original owner had been the founder of the Harrington fortune. The fact that it was rumored to be haunted only made it more interesting. Avenir hadn’t come in contact with a ghost in a long time.

            “I strongly advise you to stay away from that property,” Robert said. His lips twitched and his voice wavered.  

            Karla crossed to where Avenir was standing and patted his hand. “Don’t be too disappointed, dear. After you’ve seen it, we can call our realtor and have her show you something more suitable. Oceanview is a teardown.”

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